Terry de Gunzburg Rose Infernale & Rouge Nocturne ~ fragrance reviews

roses

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I’m about to trespass. Excuse me as I creep into the rose (perfume) garden where NST’s Jessica resides. Though I know she’ll greet me kindly if she spies me…I feel guilty! (I’ve certainly not sampled the same number of rose perfumes she has!) Today, I’m reviewing my first perfumes from Terry de Gunzburg: Rose Infernale and Rouge Nocturne; both rose-centered perfumes were developed by perfumer Michel Almairac and they were released last year…

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Tocca Isabel ~ fragrance review

Park Güell, Barcelona

Isabel is the latest in Tocca‘s collection of feminine-named fragrances, and its scent-personality is described this way: “A chic city girl from Barcelona, Isabel is an unconventional yet remarkable beauty. Like her hometown, she is eclectic, unpredictable and captivating.” Isabel includes top notes of bergamot, Mediterranean orange, pear and sangria accord; middle notes of Spanish rose, leather, vetiver and Turkish rose petals; and base notes of guaiacwood, amber and vanilla.

I’ve tried a fair number of Tocca’s perfumes, and they tend to fall into two categories for me: ones that I like and then can’t remember much about later, and ones that are complete scrubbers for me…

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The tradition of rose cultivation is fading

Despite the steady rise in demand from a global fragrance industry worth almost $40 billion, Turkish output has declined for two decades and the tradition of rose cultivation is fading. A shrinking population - true for much of Turkey's rural communities amid rapid urbanization - prefers to raise less labor-intensive products, like cherries and peaches for export, said rose growers. Aging rose bushes are another culprit.

— Read more at Turkish rose farmers struggle to keep tradition alive at Reuters.

Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow ~ fragrance review

Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow artwork

Just when I thought this season’s wave of rose-inspired perfumes had tapered off, one more has come my way, and it’s a very unusual example: Asphalt Rainbow, the second release from Brooklyn-based independent perfume brand Charenton Macerations. This fragrance was developed by perfumer Cecile Hua, and its notes include rose, spray paint (aerosols), galbanum, lily of the valley, lychee, ylang ylang, saffron, magnolia, leather, cistus, asphalt, “detritus,” patchouli, wood and amber.

Asphalt Rainbow is described as “an olfactive love letter to the street: a roughed up rose that’s been hyper-colored, torn apart and twisted on its head, then nailed to the wall for your sniffing pleasure.” It’s actually discussed at much greater length on the Charenton Macerations website, in various posts that occasionally read like an M.F.A. thesis; once you sift through the verbiage, you can take away the idea that Asphalt Rainbow is designed as a homage to graffiti and street art of all kinds, an olfactory tribute to an art form that’s vibrant and temporary and rebellious…

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Frapin Nevermore ~ fragrance review

Poe's grave and Frapin Nevermore

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before…

In late 2014, niche line Frapin launched Nevermore, a new fragrance inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.” I love any reference to Poe, and Frapin’s characterization of Nevermore as a “spicy woody metallic rose” appealed to me, so I looked forward to trying it and writing about it here.

Nevermore was developed for Frapin by perfumer Anne-Sophie Behaghel, and its composition includes notes of black pepper, nutmeg, floralozone and aldehydes; rose oxide, rose de mai, rose damascena and “bonded wine”; saffron, Atlas cedar and amber wood. Its concept is inspired by the legendary “Poe toaster,” a mysterious figure who for several decades visited Poe’s Baltimore resting place annually on the writer’s birthday (January 19) and left a bottle of Cognac and three roses…

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